DJ LeMahieu’s rumored contract demands from the Yankees are higher than we’d heard.
The Yankees need DJ LeMahieu back at nearly any price.
And it’s clear that LeMahieu’s camp…certainly also understands what that means, especially during this part of the negotiating window.
With very little motion in an offseason that likely won’t pick up until January or February, LeMahieu is the Yanks “No. 1 priority,” which appears to only have encouraged his camp to utilize its leverage properly.
When reports came out last week that the team and its MVP were “over $25 million” apart in current conversations, most theorized that meant the Yankees were pitching four years and $20 million AAV, while LeMahieu’s camp was demanding a fifth year at a similar value. On Sunday, we got our first indication that our numbers might not have been properly calculated.
According to Bob Klapisch, the current ask is five years and $125 million. We don’t blame the man for asking to be rewarded, but the Yankees — already balking at a fifth year — will not pay this. And we’re not sure who will.
We’ll open with the caveat that it’s quite likely this missive was leaked by someone on the Yankees’ side of things as a way to reclaim the narrative.
Last week? Everyone attacked Brian Cashman for not doing everything possible to secure LeMahieu during an exclusive negotiating window. Now? People might open the new week by realizing why this wasn’t an open and shut case.
Klapisch agrees that the most likely outcome is still the two sides finding a middle ground — fifth-year option, holler if you’re with me — but this isn’t particularly close to a resolution. $25 million annual is $5 million below Mookie Betts money.
LeMahieu is one of the game’s best hitters and a rock solid defender. And with the Yankees pushed up against a wall, he has every right and more to ask for this.
But these figures feel more like a starter rather than something close to the finish line.
And with the Blue Jays basically choosing between LeMahieu and Francisco Lindor, the Dodgers still eyeing Justin Turner, and the Mets prioritizing George Springer and signing James McCann at a discount JT Realmuto, this still feels like the Yankees’ shot back at LeMahieu’s camp as they hurtle towards a reunion — at a different price.